Football: Fincher handed Cardiff chance
A YOUNGSTER eliminated from a football talent show has secured a trial with Championship side Cardiff City.
Jordan Fincher, aged 16, was one of 10 talented footballers from across the UK to win a place in the final of the Sky One television programme Football's Next Star.
The show gave the footballers the chance to earn a one-year contract with Italian giants Inter Milan, the current Serie A champions.
But Fincher's dreams were dashed when he became the second player to be eliminated from the show.
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"It was very emotional to be told I wasn't going through," said Fincher, from Stafford, who is the cousin of Hull City's former Port Vale centre-half Anthony Gardner.
"I hadn't played too well in the latest trial game, which disappointed me because I know I can do better.
"But Cardiff saw me on the programme and were impressed with what they saw, so have given me the chance of a trial.
"It's another brilliant opportunity for me and it is flattering a big club like Cardiff have offered me a chance to go and show what I can do there.
"I'll go determined to show them what I can do and to prove they were right in offering me the chance."
Fincher, main picture, beat thousands of other hopefuls to make the final 10 after impressing Inter youth coaches Marco Monti and Paolo Migliavacca during trials in Manchester.
The finalists then flew to Italy to undergo more trials and coaching to help them prove they had what it takes to make it in Serie A. It was amazing to be over there, and we had the chance to play football alongside Patrick Vieira and Luis Figo," added Fincher, a student at Sir Graham Balfour School in Stafford.
"We also met Jose Mourinho, and he spoke to us all and chatted to us about football.
"It's obviously something I will never forget and I am thankful for the opportunity.
"Hopefully I am a better player now and all I have picked up in Italy will benefit me in the future."
Fincher, once on Port Vale's books, has previously played for Stafford Rangers' youth team and had a trial with Premier League side Portsmouth.
He was mentored by former Spurs, Liverpool and England midfielder Jamie Redknapp during his time on the programme.
Fincher added: "Jamie told me to keep my head up and concentrate on improving my game.
"Working alongside someone with his experience was what the players needed.
"He was very enthusiastic about all of us and gave us all the confidence we needed to go on and play well."